OPINION

Littlefield: My political record illustrates a thoughtful approach to Scottsdale issues

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When projects that are good for Scottsdale come along, I am happy to support them. But I make no apology for opposing the many bad projects that came before the City Council during my tenure.
– Bob Littlefield

Since I announced my candidacy for Scottsdale mayor I have received a lot of support and encouragement.

I have also received questions about my record when I was on City Council and about my platform. So, here are the answers to those questions.

When you were on the City Council didn’t you just vote “no” on everything?

The verifiable truth is in my 12-plus years on City Council I voted for the Waterfront, Optima I, expanding the Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center, building the Granite Reef Senior Center, Mcdowell Mountain Aquatic Center and Museum of the West, protecting Papago Park, acquiring the land for Camelback Park and have voted 100% for completing the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve and for building trailheads to promote public access to the Preserve.

Unlike my two opponents, who have inflexibly voted “yes” for every tall, dense ugly project presented to them, I have exercised independent judgment, voting “yes” for projects I believe are good (such as Optima I) and “no” on projects I believe are bad for Scottsdale (such as Optima II).

Aren’t you opposed to growth and change?

I have to laugh at the idea I of all people am “opposed to change.” During my 25 years in the computer industry, I experienced --- and embraced --- more change than most people see in a lifetime. But that experience taught me not all change is good, and not every new idea qualifies as progress. Over the last 60 years, Scottsdale has indeed had many bold, visionary ideas such as the Indian Bend Wash, Civic Center Mall, mechanized refuse collection, the STEP Committees, and Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

But, sadly, most of what has been proposed to the City Council during the last 20 years has been tall, dense and ugly high-rises that block our views, clog our streets and overstress our infrastructure.

When projects that are good for Scottsdale come along, I am happy to support them. But I make no apology for opposing the many bad projects that came before the City Council during my tenure. In fact, I believe that is exactly what Scottsdale residents expect their mayor and council members to do.

So, what is your vision for Scottsdale’s future?

I believe the job of the mayor and City Council is to implement the citizen’s vision for Scottsdale, not to substitute their own vision. And, the voters have officially told us their vision by approving Scottsdale’s General Plan at the ballot box. This plan, if followed, would have allowed Scottsdale to grow and evolve while maintaining our special character and high quality of life.

Sadly, the current City Council majority, including my two opponents in the race for mayor, have routinely approved development that is incompatible with this General Plan and have refused to put a resident-friendly update to this plan on the ballot for the voters to consider. As mayor I would make putting a resident-friendly General Plan update before the voters one of my highest priorities.

As mayor what would you do to help Scottsdale Schools?

Technically, school districts and municipalities are totally separate entities in Arizona, with separate governing bodies and budgets. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing cities can do to help the local schools succeed. And, I certainly want to make sure our local schools succeed --- both my kids are graduates of SUSD (Cochise, Cocopah and Chaparral), as is my wife (Ingleside and Arcadia).

When I was first elected to the City Council in 2002, I served on the joint Scottsdale Unified School District and City Council Committee. This committee was tasked with finding ways SUSD and the City could cooperate to the mutual benefit of our constituents. If I am elected mayor, I will move to restore this committee.

I also spent five years on the Youth Sports Task Force that coordinated the efforts to have the city Parks Department help SUSD maintain its sports fields when they did not have the budget to keep them in good shape themselves.

If you want more information about my record when I was on City Council or about my platform, or if you want to help my campaign you can visit my web site at www.boblittlefield.com, email me at bob@boblittlefield.com or call me at 480-951-2549.

Editor’s note: Mr. Littlefield is a longtime community advocate in pursuit of the mayor’s seat this November

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